Friday, December 20, 2013 - Article by: Richard Airey - First Financial Mortgage -
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the final reading on 3rd quarter Gross Domestic Product rose by 4.1%, above the 3.6% from the second reading and above the expectation of 3.6%. The 4.1% was the highest level since Q4 2011 of 4.9%. The rise was due in part to an increase in consumer spending to 2% from 1.4%, a buildup in business inventories and business spending in software.The job market in the U.S. economy received some positive news today as the sector continues to improve. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that state unemployment rates declined in November as employment increased in 43 states and decreased in 7 states. Over the year, 33 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive.The holiday shopping season has seen sparse crowds at malls along with "50% off" signs at many of the retailers. Sales are up 2% from November 1 through December 15, a slower pace than expected. Discounts are up 13% from last year, the highest level since the 2008 holiday shopping season. One insider said that retailers will do anything they can to get rid of merchandise.
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